Friday, August 28, 2009


It's not just the house that has been benefiting from a makeover-- but much loved furniture has as well! In my trek across the ocean last year, I did bring a few pieces of furniture that had particular sentimental value-- a media cabinet (my first "real"-- translation: non-IKEA purchase), a beautiful drop leaf table that I inherited from Jen and Eddie (that has been rebuilt, but still needs to be refinished), and a club chair.

Of the three, it's the club chair that I am most sentimental about-- maybe because I've had it the longest (almost ten years??). It was gifted by my dear friend, Lynn, and it was one of her furniture purchases early in her marriage (in the 70s?). Originally a pair, it changed hands and moved a few times-- from NYC to Boston to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, back to NYC, to Chicago and now England. It even spent some time in a frat house at Franklin and Marshall when it was in Lynn's son's possession. Needless to say, this old dear has seen a lot of action.

I love Lynn, so I love the chair-- plus it was the most comfortable chair-- the kind where you just sink into the cushions. But despite the comfort, it had definitely had seen better days-- the Campbell tartan pattern upholstery was frayed and worn at the arms and legs; it had a slip cover that was stained and didn't quite fit (somewhere a cushion cover was lost, so I had to improvise), and the frame was a bit creaky after many years of use.

So, I decided it was time for some new upholstery. We found a local upholsterer-- Roberts & Sumner, who are FANTASTIC! Amazing guys-- friendly, accommodating (they came to the house to take a look at the chair, bring fabric samples, give an estimate) and just the best to work with. When I finally decided on a fabric (after agonizing for weeks-- traditional or contemporary? solid or patterned? floral or stripe?), they came to pick up the chair and the reconstruction began.

They really liked the chair and said that they got a lot of compliments on it because of the unique shape of the frame and deep seat. When they removed the original fabric, they found very nice wooden feet (that were previously fabric-covered) that they refinished and stained and left uncovered. They reinforced the frame and replaced the springs in the base of the chair; and the old foam from the cushions were replaced. Removable covers were fitted (so we can wash them) and there was even enough fabric left over for a bolster cushion. It looks like a brand new chair-- it practically is!!

But can you BELIEVE that I forgot to take "before" photos?!? I was able to dig up one from a photo of my apartment in Chicago-- with the slip cover; but it doesn't do the makeover justice. But several friends and family will recognize the overhaul having sat in this chair many-a-time. Most significantly, LYNN! :)

(The pattern is actually blue, but it looks more grey in the photos; it picks up the light blue in the oriental rug we have... i do like to mix complementary fabrics and textures / modern and traditional...).